Another Singapore thriller highlights day three
After a close win over Scotland in the tournament's opening match on Friday, Singapore again took a game into the last over today against Bermuda at the ICC Academy.
Bermuda chose to bat first after captain Dion Stovell won the toss, and after a 25 run opening stand lost three quick wickets, including the dangerous Delray Rawlins, to leave them on 29-3. A recovery began though, largely led by the experienced Janeiro Tucker.
Tucker, who first played for Bermuda in the 1997 ICC Trophy - which also featured the father of Singapore's Tim David - rolled back the years with a 34 ball unbeaten half century as he helped his team post a competitive 149-7 from their 20 overs. Janak Prakash took three wickets for Singapore but was rather expensive, going for 44 from his four overs.
In reply, Singapore looked like they were in with no chance, especially when they were 41-4 with Tim David and Surendran Chandramohan - the top scorer against Scotland - both out. But Manpreet Singh and Navin Param had other ideas with a 79 run fifth wicket partnership which got Singapore back into the game.
With 30 needed from three balls though it was still a tough ask, especially when Singh was out for 26 from the first ball of the 18th. But the runs still came, Param bringing up his 50 in the process of Singapore taking 11 runs from the over. Nine came from the 19th, including a flat-batted six from Param and nine more were needed from the last over.
Another six from Param meant they needed just three from the last five. A single from the second ball of the over was followed by a four by Janak Prakash and Singapore had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat again. It's worth noting that Tim David hasn't yet fired in this tournament - it'll be interesting to see what happens when he does.
On the same ground earlier in the day, Papua New Guinea batted first against Namibia after winning the toss and started with another huge opening partnership, Tony Ura and Asad Vala putting on 125 for the opening wicket before Vala was out for 48. Ura batted on to score 71, before a collapse from 182-3 to 186-7 prevented PNG from reaching 200.
A total of 197-7 was still a tough ask for Namibia though, with no batsman able to get going. Asad Vala completed a fine all-round performance by taking 3-19 as Namibia were bowled out for 116 to lose by 81 runs.
The morning game in Abu Dhabi saw Canada play their first game of the tournament, put into bat by a Jersey team buoyant from their big win over Nigeria yesterday. After an opening partnership of 51 between Rodrigo Thomas and Navneet Dhaliwal, the backbone to their total of 176-5 was provided by Nitish Kumar, still only 25 despite a ten year international career. Kumar scored 83, his highest score in T20Is, before he was stumped by Jake Dunford.
Jonty Jenner scored a second consecutive 50 with 56 from 32 balls, but that was the sole bright spot in the Jersey batting order. Jeremy Gordon and Dillon Heyliger both took three wickets as Jersey were bowled out for 123, losing by 53 runs.
Oman, who beat hosts UAE on the tournament's opening day, put Hong Kong into bat in the afternoon game in Abu Dhabi. Hong Kong found runs hard to come by, particularly against the Omani spinners. Nizakat Khan's 31 was the top score for them. Aamir Kaleem - on his birthday - took 3-14, whilst Khawar Ali took 3-24.
Oman's chase slowed down for a few overs after they went from 42-1 to 46-3, but Aqib Ilyas and Zeeshan Maqsood put on an unbroken - and at times rather ugly - 60 for the fourth wicket to secure a seven wicket win with 2.3 overs to spare.
Oman and Papua New Guinea find themselves on top of their respective groups as the tournament heads into day four tomorrow. PNG will be in action tomorrow morning at the ICC Academy against Scotland, whilst Bermuda will take on Kenya at the same ground in the afternoon. In Group B in Abu Dhabi, there will be three games. Hong Kong will play the UAE and Ireland play Oman in the afternoon session, whilst Canada and Nigeria will play a floodlit game to round off the day.